Energy retrofit program shuts down


A program offering energy retrofits for Maine homes that received $3 million in federal funding has shut down.

The Maine Green Energy Alliance last week abandoned its contract with Efficiency Maine to market energy retrofits to Maine households, according to the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.The alliance had received a one-year, $1.25 million contract with an option for another two years and additional $2 million, with promises to sign up 1,000 households in 12 months. However, the group signed up only 50 households in six months, and Efficiency Maine had begun looking into how the money was being used when the alliance scrapped the project.

The alliance received the funding as part of the state’s application for $75 million in federal stimulus funds for residential retrofits and initially sought funding for a task force developing a plan to move Casella Waste Systems’ trash incinerator out of Biddeford and build a processing and recycling facility in Westbrook. Its inclusion in the state application was controversial among state officials. When that project stalled, the alliance was tapped to work with a handful of towns around the state to adopt ordinances to participate in Efficiency Maine’s loan program and marketing the retrofits to homeowners.

The alliance spent only $356,000 on projects, and plans to return unspent funds to the state to be used for a rebate program run by Efficiency Maine, according to the nonprofit journalism organization.


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